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Our Top 10 Favorite Murals of 2020

If you didn’t know…

Among the myriad projects that find their home at The Bridge, The Charlottesville Mural Project is our ongoing effort to facilitate meaningful artwork that enhances our cultural landscape. Each year, we put tens of thousands of dollars into the hands of artists, and support them in various ways as they add their perspectives to the ongoing conversation that public art facilitates.

This Giving Tuesday…

Remember the capacity of art & culture to draw us forward and illuminate a better future. Support our efforts to assist artists in finding and sharing their voices. 

Our 10 Favorite Murals of 2020
(so far!)

Ok! Here we go! Without further ado (and in no particular order) here are our favorite projects of 2020. Let’s dig in!

 10. Seventeen new chalkboard murals for inpatient psychiatry patients

Bonus! This project is actually seventeen murals! New safety guidelines required all framed artwork to be removed from the walls of UVA Health Inpatient Psychiatry. Time to turn lemons into lemonade. In support of a recovery model approach to mental illness and substance abuse care, Bolanle Adeboye went to work in the patient rooms. Using soothing, colors and specially formulated paint, Adeboye transformed wall surfaces into safe, interactive artwork that patients & visitors can chalk up! The design encourages therapeutic creativity, collaboration, and engagement for the patients staying in the rooms. 
For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with generous support from the UVA Hospital Auxiliary and with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

9. Fruto De La Misma Semilla

Karina Monroy is a Chicana artist based in Charlottesville Virginia. For Fruto De La Misma Semilla (Fruit of the Same Seed), Monroy invited Latinx students to join her in adding some personality to the new Latinx Cultural Center at UVA. “For me, my cultura is really informed and defined by food. Recipes passed down from my abuelita, knowing how to properly pelar un nopal, cooking together in community, using the same tools that our pre-hispanic ancestors did, like el molcajete, and el metate; these are the things that keep the culture alive, keep it going, keep it thriving, keep us thriving; nourishing our bodies and our souls. Food, colorful produce, plants, the soil and all it gives to us. These are the elements I wanted to highlight in this mural, as I feel like they are the elements that really tie us together as Latinxs.” For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

 8. Augmented reality murals at Visible Records

This series of murals wrapping the exterior corner of Visible Records art space at 1740 Broadway St. were completed by Toledo, OH based artist Yusuf Lateef. Plans for this collaboration with our comrades at Visible Records include working with community partners, activists and artists in utilizing augmented reality technology to animate elements within the mural and superimpose an evolving exhibition of 3-D modeling, video, animation, and other creative content. In this way, the mural will serve as outdoor exhibition space, providing endless possibilities for multimedia artists to engage and display.
For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with generous support from Visible Records and with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

 7. Wall Peace

An elementary school art teacher by day, Trott connected with leadership at City of Promise for consultation on collecting input from children in the neighborhood and throughout parts of Charlottesville to design  a collage of playful illustrations that would be familiar and fun. He states; “My recent work focuses on figures interacting with objects in a lighthearted and often surreal way. For this project, I worked with students to develop new ideas for objects from their daily lives. Their drawings, notes and suggestions inform the design of the mural and create a connection to the community. Alongside my usual plants & coffee mugs are a basketball, phone, and pizza slice- creating a fun and interacting environment to explore.”
For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with generous support from SEF Family Fund and Tenth Street Warehouses and with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

 6. Observatory Hill

As University of Virginia students leave the Observatory Hill dining hall, they encounter a staircase radically transformed into a vibrant natural setting filled with depictions of students doing what they love and being themselves. Thanks to the generous support from Aramark employees, Chicho Lorenzo was chosen by the Observatory Hill food service staff to represent their intentions of providing a welcoming and pleasant environment for the 3,000+ students that pass through the staircase each day. The self-taught artist and native of Madrid, Spain is widely influenced by the vibrancy and color of the Spanish culture, which is evident in his work. For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with support from Aramark employees and with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

5. God O Good, Go Do Good

This mural, located in the 10th and Page neighborhood, was completed by Richard Montoya for his neighbor. Rick Montoya, specializes in unique graphic lettering and wordplay.  Richard shares, “I believe this is what we need to hear and do more of in these turbulent times.” To see more from Richard Montoya, visit here. For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

4. Breast Care Center nature mural

 Landscape muralist Anna Marie DeMio Dowen painted beautiful landscapes–equipped with mountains, dogwood flowers, and grazing cattle–on a mural spanning 3 walls (you can only see one in the above photo) of the new UVA Health Breast Care Center. The intricately detailed murals were painted with the assistance of high school student apprentice, Carissa over the course of several weeks. The mural communicates care for patients and contributes to a soothing, peaceful environment as they navigate difficult experiences. For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with support from UVA Health and ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

 3. We Are All Union Hill

When Dominion Energy and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline targeted the historic freedman community of Union Hill for a behemoth compressor station, they were certain this rural, low income, predominantly African American community would have little power to fight back. They were wrong. On Sunday , July 5, 2020, against all odds, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was canceled. Dominion and ACP cited the proposed compressor station on a former plantation where many Union Hill ancestors were enslaved and where their remains still lie. Among other places, the project also threatened the sites of former Monacan villages and the nearby community of Yogaville. This inspired an alliance of fierce diversity across divides of class, race, religion and rural/urban and became an inspiration to all who witnessed and joined it. For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

2. My Future

Artists Jae Johnson grew up in Charlottesville, was a Charlottesville Public School student and is a prolific, talented portrait artist. The CMP facilitated his first mural as an inspiration to all future students who would one day enter the halls of Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Institute. Incorporating some of his favorite inspirational quotes as well as the school motto, “My Choice, My School, My Future,” Jae painted a fantastic narrative of the journey toward education. The illustration features many of the career educational opportunities that CATEC offers, including; veterinary sciences, firefighting, auto repair, nursing, cosmetology, electrical engineering, and carpentry. For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

1. Say My Name

Sahara Clemons is a multimedia artist, designer, and activist born in Washington D.C and based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her work confronts interpersonal and intersectional concepts and provides commentary on the historic political, and social trauma of people of color and its effect on shaping identity. The CMP had the pleasure of guiding Clemons through her first mural painting experience. Clemons shares, “My mother was my inspiration for the mural. She represents strength and perseverance to me. I wanted to do something that honored her and other black women. Black women are constantly struggling to be recognized and break barriers. I strive to represent those who are invisible and elevate their presence. She is lying down while holding the lightning bolt to suggest the juxtaposition between power and ease. I used to live in this area, a historically Black neighborhood, and I see that it is undergoing transition. I want to ensure that Black people are being represented in this evolving community. For more photos, visit here.

This project was completed with generous support from SEF Family Fund and Tenth Street Warehouses and with ongoing support from The FUNd at CACF.

There you have it!

But there’s still more to come before the year’s end! Keep your eyes out for: hospital projects that encourages essential health workers and make patients feel at home; A new mural for Meals on Wheels as they serve the vulnerable in our community during the holidays and throughout the year; A new mural on McGuffey Art Center by Meesha Goldberg….and MORE!

How you can help.

 Become a member of The Bridge or make a one-time contribution. Your pledge goes a long way toward ensuring projects like this continue to inspire and connect Charlottesville.